I should have walked away

Sean C. O’Halloran
Experienced State and Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
Main Office: Ft Myers, Florida

July 6 2017

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How many times have you heard or said this?

As a criminal defense lawyer, I have heard this comment thousands of times. In almost every domestic violence case, had one person simply turned and walked away the entire situation, including and arrest could have been avoided. In a bar fight, an aggravated battery case, the fight would never have gone down. There is no winner in a fight. The loser goes to the hospital and the winner goes to jail. There is no winner in a road rage confrontation. Do you have any idea how many altercations are caused by alcohol? I would say that in over three quarters of all the domestic violence cases I handle, alcohol is the cause. Some people are what I call a “nasty drunk”. When they are sober, they are friendly and loving but with a few drinks in them, they become surly, confrontational and agitated. Pent up frustrations come flowing out with a little alcohol and usually a family member or spouse becomes the victim. Most of the time, the people are not “bad” but simply cannot handle their drinks.

The police have zero tolerance for an intoxicated person. If a wife or relative calls 911 to have the police come out and calm the person down, chances are someone is going to jail. Mouthing off to a cop is never a good idea and most drunks don’t know how to keep their mouth shut. They may have the right to remain silent but because of alcohol lack the ability to remain silent.

You will always lose in an argument with a police officer or deputy sheriff. I would be willing to bet that there is someone in your family that matches my description of a “nasty drunk”. What they really need is help, not time in jail. The first symptom of alcoholism is denial. Getting arrested for fighting with a wife, brother, sister or other family member should be a sobering event. The light should go on that “you need help”. As a criminal defense lawyer, my first goal is to keep the person out of jail, out of prison and to prevent a “conviction”. Criminal convictions have bad consequences. You can lose a good job or professional license and end up with a criminal history following you for life. At our criminal defense firm, we also try and get people who need help, the guidance they need. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. We will at least try and point you on the right track. The rest is up to you.

If you or someone in your family gets arrested for assault, battery, road rage, or some other violent crime, give us a call in Ft. Myers at 239 334 8890 or Sarasota at 941 366 3506


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